Tis the season for tons of holiday events, craft fairs, expos, and holiday lights in Chicago. This week Matt continued to check holiday events off of our list. On Sunday afternoon we accompanied our friends, the Ludwig’s, to the Chicago Botanic Garden for the Wonderland Express exhibit. The exhibit features miniatures of historical buildings and landmarks in Chicago surrounded by poinsettias and other holiday plants with model trains bustling all around you.
It was fun walking through the exhibit and marveling at the construction of the miniatures. Once done inside, we headed outside to walk a few trails. This was only my second time at the Botanic Gardens so it was neat to see all the different types of gardens on the grounds. My favorite were the English and Japanese style gardens. Maybe this spring/summer I’ll go back to see how it looks in full-bloom. To compensate for the lack of outdoor flowers, there were a ton of lights wrapped around trees and plants. As sunset approached, the gardens started to glow white, yellow and red. With the lights and beautiful garden backdrop, a beautiful winter scene was created.
Ready to be refueled after walking around the gardens, we headed to Crisp. Tom and Kim were raving about their twice fried Korean chicken so we had to go! I thought Sunday evening wouldn’t be a busy time, but I was totally wrong. The place was packed with folks dining in at their 4 large communal tables or standing waiting for their take out order. Luckily Matt and I knew what we wanted to get from scoping out the menu on the ride to the restaurant. We ordered one whole chicken with the Crisp BBQ sauce, a side of fries and kimchi. Everything was delicious and yes we had leftovers.
This past Monday Matt and I took a half day off work and traveled to the Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza. We always have the same plan of attack for navigating the busy market. One of us responsible for food and the other for the gluhwein, which is warmed spiced red wine served in cute novelty mugs. We’ve found that if executed properly, we can enjoy eating our food while we wait for our beverages. This year we both got a bratwurst with sauerkraut and split an order of potato pancakes with herbed sour cream and smoked salmon. With happy bellies and our warm gluhwein in hand it was time to find a few ornaments and spiced nuts. As for our ornament haul, we picked up a pickle, a black lab for Porter, a beautiful wood carving of a deer and evergreen trees, as well as a red glass tree-topper.
Our favorite holiday traditions continue this weekend with a stop to Lincoln Square and Zoo Lights at Brookfield Zoo. Can you guess what next week’s blog post might be about? 😉